Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 Dec 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
December 29, 2003
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 Dec 2003

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Week 10 is underway for Expedition 8, and this is the crew’s 72nd day in space (70 aboard ISS).

FE Alexander Kaleri completed a 3-hr. task in the FGB (funktsionalnyi-grusovoi blok), uninstalling and removing another set of no-longer-required electronics units of the SUD motion control system, to make room for stowage.  He then took digital photographs of the exposed area for later downlink via OCA, to be used to update container configurations for their subsequent installation in these areas. [The teardown of electronic equipment of the FGB, not required since arrival of the Service Module (SM) in 1998, was begun early this year by Nikolai Budarin.]

An originally planned activation (and subsequent replacement) of an SFOG “candle” (solid-fuel oxygen generator, Russian: TGK) was deferred, pending further evaluation of the proposal to use up SFOGs that are approaching their certified expiration date. [The SFOGs, on standby as oxygen sources as backup to the Elektron and Progress-stored O2, generate O2 by decomposing cartridges of solid potassium perchlorate (KClO4) into potassium chloride (KCl) and O2 when heated at 400 degC.]

The monthly potable water sampling scheduled for today for in-flight chemistry/microbiology analysis was postponed when the crew was unable to locate the necessary hose adapters.

The FE deployed two passive FMK (formaldehyde monitoring kit) sampling badges in the Lab (below CEVIS) and SM (most forward handrail), to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a sampling substrate for subsequent.  Sasha also collected air samples with the GSC (grab sample container) from the center of the Lab.

Later, Kaleri worked on the Russian harmful impurities removal system (BMP), starting the “bake-out” cycle on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system.  Regeneration of each of the two beds takes about 24 hours.

Sasha conducted the regular routine maintenance of SOZh life support systems and prepared the daily IMS (inventory management system) “delta” file for updating the IMS database, while the CDR conducted the periodic status checkup of autonomous Lab payloads.

The crew spent some time on science payloads, starting out with preparations for the upcoming new MFMG (Miscible Fluids in Microgravity) experiments, which use water and honey as test fluids.  Today, Kaleri warmed up the Russian honey, to eliminate any possible crystallization before the experiments are performed. [MFMG investigates how miscible fluids (fluids that completely dissolve in each other) interact without the interference of gravity.]

Mike Foale continued working with the CBOSS-FDI (Cellular Biotechnology Support Systems-Fluid Dynamics Investigation) payload, first reviewing the fluid dynamics procedure, then using a syringe for particle injection with re-suspension in TCM (tissue culture module) A3.

Early in the morning (3:10am EST) the crew set up the U.S. video camera equipment for a subsequent press conference with Russian journalists at TsUP/Moscow, via Ku- and S-band). [The event was a “proof of concept” for an upcoming Russian PAO event for New Year on 12/31, which will test a new configuration enabling two-way video via OCA comm between TsUP/Moscow and the crew.]
Foale and Kaleri worked out according to their regular daily physical exercise program of 2.5 hrs on the TVIS treadmill, RED exerciser, and VELO bike (with load trainer).

For today’s CEO (crew earth observations) sessions, the ground uplinked a list of target cities as potential photographic opportunities at the crew’s discretion.

CEO images can be viewed at the websites.

See also the website “Space Station Challenge” at

U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of 2:00pm EST).

Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLSS) and Thermal Control (TCS):

  • Elektron O2 generator is powered On.  Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is On (in Manual Mode 5/3).  U.S. CDRA CO2 scrubber is on Standby (ready in dual-bed mode).  TCCS (trace contaminant control subsystem) is operating.  MCA (major constituents analyzer) is off (in Life Extending Mode).  BMP Harmful Impurities unit: absorbent bed #1 in Purify mode, bed #2 in Purify mode.  RS air conditioner SKV-1 is Off: SKV-2 is Off.
  • SM Working Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 742; temperature (deg C) — 26.9; ppO2 (mmHg) — 146.1; ppCO2 (mmHg) — 2.5
  • SM Transfer Compartment:  Pressure (mmHg) — 752; temperature (deg C) — 20.9.
  • FGB Cabin:  Pressure (mmHg) — 752; temperature (deg C) — 23.0.
  • Node:  Pressure (mmHg) — 745.8; temperature (deg C) — n/a (shell); ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • U.S. Lab:  Pressure (mmHg) — 747.75; temperature (deg C) — 24.8; ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • Joint Airlock (Equip. Lock):   Pressure (mmHg) — 748.95; temperature (deg C) — 26.6; shell heater temp (deg C) — n/a, ppO2 (mmHg) — n/a; ppCO2 (mmHg) — n/a.
  • PMA-1:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — n/a
  • PMA-2:  Shell heater temp (deg C) — n/a.

(n/a = data not available)

Electrical Power Systems (EPS):

  • Both P6 channels fully operational.  BGA (beta gimbal assembly) 2B and 4B both in Autotrack (suntracking). 
  • SM batteries:  Battery #8, formerly known as #7, is still disconnected in slot #8 for troubleshooting; all other batteries (7) are in “Partial Charge” mode.  
  • FGB batteries:  Battery #4 is off (capacity restoration mode, ROM); all other batteries (5) are in “Partial Charge” mode.
  • Plasma Contactor Unit PCU-1 in Standby mode; PCU-2 in Standby mode.

Command & Data Handling Systems:

  • C&C-1 MDM is prime, C&C-2 is back-up, and C&C-3 is in standby.
  • GNC-1 MDM is prime; GNC-2 is Backup.
  • INT-2 is operating; INT-1 is Off.
  • EXT-2 is On (primary), EXT-1 is Off (both now upgraded to R3).
  • LA-1, LA-2 and LA-3 MDMs are all operating.
  • PL-1 MDM is Off; PL-2 MDM is Operational.
  • APS-1 (automated payload switch #1) and APS-2 are both On.
  • SM Terminal Computer (TVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational (string 1 dropped out 11/22).
  • SM Central Computer (TsVM): 2 redundant lanes (of 3) operational (string #3 dropped out 10/22).

Propulsion System:

  • Total propellant load available: 3680 kg (8113 lb) as of 12/11/03  [SM(755) + FGB(2573) + Progress M(352) + Progress M-1(0)].  (Capability: SM — 860 kg; FGB — 6120 kg).

Attitude Control Systems:

  • 3 CMGs on-line (CMG-1 failed).
  • State vector source — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Attitude source — U.S. SIGI-1 (GPS)
  • Angular rate source — RGA-1

Flight Attitude:

  • XPOP (x-axis perpendicular to orbit plane = “sun-fixed” [yaw: 0.5 deg, pitch: -9.0 deg., roll: 0 deg]), with CMG TA (thruster assist).

Communications & Tracking Systems:

  • FGB MDM-1 is powered Off; FGB MDM-2 is operational.
  • All other Russian communications & tracking systems are nominal.
  • S-band is operating nominally (on string 2).
  • Ku-band is operating nominally.
  • Audio subsystem is operating nominally (IAC-1 is prime, IAC-2 is off).
  • Video subsystem operating nominally.
  • HCOR (high-rate communications outage recorder) is operating nominally.


  • SSRMS/Canadarm2 based at MBS PDGF #1/LEE B, with Keep Alive (KA) power on both strings.
  • MBS: KA power on both strings. 
  • MT: latched and mated at WS4. 
  • POA: KA power on both strings.
  • RWS (robotics workstations): Lab RWS is On (DCP connected); Cupola RWS is Off.

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 7:51am EST [= epoch]):

  • Mean altitude — 370.0 km
  • Apogee — 374.3 km
  • Perigee — 365.7 km
  • Period — 91.9 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) —  51.63 deg
  • Eccentricity — 0.0006376
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.66
  • Mean altitude loss in last 24 hours — 180
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. ’98)  — 29154
  • For more on ISS orbit and worldwide ISS naked-eye visibility dates/times, see

SpaceRef staff editor.